'Prove we bought oil from ISIS, and I'll resign'

Turkish President says he would be ready to quit office if allegations by Russia that Turkey traded oil with ISIS jihadists were proven.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday declared he would be ready to quit office if allegations by Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Turkey traded oil with Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists were proven.

"I will say something very strong here. If such a thing is proven, the nobility of our nation would require that I would not stay in office," Erdogan was quoted by the state-run Anatolia news agency as saying on the sidelines of the UN climate talks near Paris, which Putin is also attending.

Challenging Putin, who has refused to meet the Turkish leader after the shooting down of a Russian military jet, Erdogan added, "And I tell Mr. Putin 'would you stay in that office?' I say this clearly."

Putin earlier Monday accused Ankara of shooting down the Russian Su-24 warplane last week to protect supplies of oil from the Islamic State group to Turkey, charges Turkey vehemently denies.

"Let's remain patient and let's not act emotionally," said Erdogan, who added that Turkey obtained all its oil and gas imports "though the legal path".

"We are not dishonest so as to do this kind of exchange with terrorist groups. Everyone needs to know this," he stated.

Just four days ago, Erdogan denied Russian accusations that Ankara was collaborating with ISIS, saying his country's fight against the jihadists was undisputed.  

"Our country's stance against Daesh has been clear since the very beginning," Erdogan said in a speech to local officials at his presidential palace in Ankara, using the Arabic acronym for Daesh. "There is no question mark here. Nobody has the right to dispute our country's fight against Daesh or to incriminate us."

But speculation over possible Turkish involvement with ISIS has loomed large since a senior Western official leaked details of a U.S. special forces operation in May to kill  ISIS leader Abu Sayyaf, wherein he said evidence was found that Turkey was one of the main buyers of ISIS's oil. 

AFP contributed to this report.